Because everyone loves a delicious, flavor-packed, high-protein veggie burger, I present to you... Black Bean Tempeh Burgers with sausage-inspired spices!
Why sausage flavor? Well, because fennel, sage, paprika, and oregano are delicious. And why gluten-free and oil-free options (as well as gluten-full and oil-containing options)? Because it's so easy to have it any way we want it.
The low-down on this sausage-inspired tempeh burger
At its core, this is simply a patty made from tempeh and black beans with a bunch of delicious spices thrown into the mix. Though slightly delicate, even as an oil-free, gluten-free patty, it holds together surprisingly well.
However, after two test batches I decided to include ¼ cup of vital wheat gluten in the main recipe (with clear instructions on how to omit it - super easy).
Gluten makes the patties quite a bit sturdier by serving as a binder, provides a firm, meaty texture, and adds additional protein (not that we need it!). So, for those of you who do eat gluten, you can opt for these perks if you like.
I've also included options for oil-free and oil-based cooking. For oil-free, simply bake the patties according to the main instructions.
If you include oil in your diet and feel like kicking up the richness and texture of your tempeh burgers, there are easy instructions in the Notes section of the recipe for pan-searing the burgers in oil before transferring them to the oven to bake.
No need to chop vegetables for this recipe. Sure, fresh onion, garlic, mushrooms, etc, are amazing in veggie burgers! But my goal with this recipe was to create a burger that's more meaty than veggie-filled, one that relies more on the spice cabinet and pantry than the produce drawer.
This also means that even if you haven't been to the grocery store all week, you might still have everything you need to make these high-protein veggie burgers.
In the photos above, the first one shows you how crumbly and dry the mixture will look after processing.
Packing the mixture into a ½ cup measuring cup was the most consistent way I found to form the burger patties (full description in the recipe instructions below).
Bake the tempeh burgers in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and piping hot.
With Omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts and tempeh, healthy plant-based protein from black beans, tempeh, and walnuts, plus an impressive amount of fiber, calcium and iron, these just might be the most nutritious, high-protein vegan burgers you've ever made.
I dressed my burger with Violife's smoked provolone slices, green leaf lettuce, pickles, mustard, spicy ketchup and onion. But the sky is the limit!
Vegan mayo and/or avocado are a must. Oooooh, and don't forget sauerkraut (because sausage)!
Also, you can't go wrong with a crusty, toasted ciabatta roll. Mmmmmmm, so good. Of course, if you're not in the mood for all that, these burgers are fantastic on top of a big salad, which is exactly what I had for lunch today.
These are also right at home on top of your favorite grain, with steamed greens or other veggies.
I hope you enjoy these sausage-y tempeh burgers. If you give them a try I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, and tag @myquietkitchen on insta to show off your healthy burger creation!
Vegan Tempeh Burgers With Sausage Spices
- ½ cup walnut halves (use raw sunflower seeds for nut-free)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- black pepper, about 10+ turns of a pepper mill
- 8 ounces tempeh, cut into cubes
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (for gluten-free sub 2 Tbsp tamari)
- ¼ cup vital wheat gluten (omit for gluten-free)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and locate a baking sheet.
- Place the walnuts and fennel seeds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until there are no more large chunks of nuts, about 10 to 12 pulses. Add the remaining spices - paprika, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, onion, sage, red pepper flakes and black pepper - and pulse to combine.
- Add the tempeh, beans, soy sauce and vital wheat gluten (if using) to the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times, then remove the lid to scrape down the sides. The mixture should look dry, but if it seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water (if omitting the vital wheat gluten do not add any water). Process until fully incorporated, with no large pieces of tempeh or bean remaining, but not so long that it becomes a paste.
- To form patties, spoon the mixture into a ½ cup measuring cup and pack it down tightly. Run a butter knife around the edge of the measuring cup and coax the mixture onto a cutting board. Use your hands to gently flatten into shape, making sure it's very compact. Patties should be about 4 inches in diameter and less then ½ inch thick. Transfer patties to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. The burgers should be lightly browned and hot in the center. Serve and enjoy!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat an oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Once hot add 2 tablespoons of high-heat cooking oil, such as grapeseed. Without overcrowding the pan (you may need to work in batches) cook the patties undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the centers are hot and firm when pressed.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
These look great! I really am trying to buying burgers packaged in plastic and finding a DIY vegan burger recipe that is high in protein is just the ticket.
Can't wait to try. Quick question: Do you find these are freezer-friendly?
Yes, they're definitely freezer friendly. Hope you enjoy!
Made these tonight. So easy to make and delicious! Thanks!
I've had this recipe saved on Pinterest, but just got around to making them. Usually not a fan of tempeh, but these were delicious.. maybe the best vegan burgers I've had. Will be making often. Love the flavors!
Paula, I'm so glad you like them! Thanks for the feedback! 🙂